A small coastal community known mainly for its scenic beauty; Petoskey sits along the scenic shores of Michigan. Often deemed a waterfront resort city, this city is about as picturesque as it gets for this Northern region and there are plenty of things to do in Petoskey including eating at one of the great Petoskey restaurants.
The charming downtown abuts the stunning spectacle of the turquoise Little Traverse Bay. Opportunities for a weekend Michigan getaway are abound here regardless of season, from paddling to hiking to skiing.
It’s a great way to work up an appetite and then dive into the culinary coups of Petoskey, of which there are many. There’s a wide range of eclectic eats to enjoy here, including everything from fine dining fares to classic comfort foods. Everyone is sure to find a sweet or savory treat to tantalize the taste buds. Here are all the very best Petoskey restaurants for foodie fanatics.
Best Petoskey Restaurants to Try!
The Side Door Saloon
The Side Door Saloon is the quintessential Michigan pub in Petoskey. It’s a local watering hole where you’ll find groups of friends swapping stories over cold pints and the game playing on the big screen TV. It’s full of classic kitschy pub decor, like hanging canoes, taxidermized animals, and festive flags. The patio seating outside is also lovely and laidback.
The menu is extensive, with a variety of elevated American bar food favorites. The Fresh Lake Superior Whitefish comes highly recommended, and all of the burgers are truly tasty as well. There’s a full bar as you may expect, offering classic cocktails, many inventive takes on the Moscow mule, and a range of beers on tap and in bottles. Pop in during the “attitude adjustment hours” for a real steal on bites and beverages.
Mim’s Mediterranean Grill
This brightly colored cafe is a gem for mouthwatering Mediterranean fares in Petoskey. The cuisine is all authentic and made with fresh and local ingredients. It’s a cute little bungalow with indoor and outdoor seating, and it’s an all-around favorite for many locals. The walls are adorned with some offbeat art and the patio even has a firepit for those chillier Michigan days.
Nothing can beat the portions and the price here, and it can honestly be rare to find such flavorful foods from this part of the world in the area. There are all different kinds of gyros, kebobs, seafood dishes, and salads. However, the Curry Chicken Shawarma Plate is our preferred pick. It’s also one of those spots where you almost want to just make an entire meal out of the sides, like tabbouleh, grape leaves, falafel, and hummus and pita.
Set in the heart of downtown Petoskey, Chandler’s is a highly cherished eatery of this coastal community. The ambiance feels chic and decidedly European. There are three different areas to enjoy a drink or dish here, the main dining room, the bar, and the patio. The Chandler’s Farm Board is always a fun order, both to photograph and devour.
Chandler’s serves up progressive American cuisine, using seasonal and local ingredients to make elevated plates. One of the main draws here is the very impressive wine cellar. It houses over 4,000 bottles from all over the world. As such, it’s a great place to try a glass or buy a bottle, and they even sell crates and deliver private orders, famously fulfilling any and all wine needs in the city.
Roast and Toast
Roast and Toast is a cute and comfy cafe, frequented for the best breakfast in town. It’s a cozy yet funky ambiance, with neon signs, model ships, and warmly colored walls that will instantly make you feel right at home. It’s a counter service spot, and easy to see why locals often flock here.
More than just a quality cuisine, they’ve actually been roasting and brewing their own coffee here since 1993, hence the name. Cup of joe connoisseurs will certainly be jonesing for some java the second they arrive. Everything is handmade in-house here, from the salad dressings to the freshly baked pastries, using all local growers and purveyors. The Build Your Own Deli Sandwich and the Bayfront Breakfast Pita are both delicious dishes.
Jose’s is an unassuming local spot that just happens to have the most delicious Mexican food around. Everything is made in traditional style, and the menu features all the favorite fares, from quesadillas to tacos to burritos. It has an intimate neighborhood vibe and is a great go-to for authentic affordable eats in the city.
It’s a comfortable space with counter service, and each meal comes out hot, hardy, and made to order. The guacamole is even prepared right in front of you. The Mexican Pizza, Chilli Relleno, and Homemade Tamales are a few of the more unexpected yet remarkable options on this small and traditional menu.
City Park Grill
City Park Grill is set inside a Victorian-era home that’s actually one of the oldest buildings in the city. Built in 1875, it was originally a men-only billiards club. It’s historically known for being a place once patronized by the iconic author Hemingway himself, so of course this had to make our list of best restaurants in Petoskey.
City Park Grille is also said to be haunted, so keep your eyes out for any odd happenings or ghost sightings while inside. Today its claim to fame is delectable, global-inspired pub grub, and we cannot get enough.
The Jambalaya, Sweet Chili Glazed Salmon, and the Shaved Prime Rib Sandwich are among the top tasty orders here. They often host live music events, so it’s a great chance to see some local talent and get your groove on in Petoskey. There’s also a full bar in this old-school joint, so feel free to let loose with some libations as well.
Sage is actually set inside of the Odawa Casino, but don’t let that fool you as eating here is far from a gamble. They boast a very upscale atmosphere and fancy fares for the full fine dining experience. When we go, we love to indulge in a meal that feels super high-end like lobster or steak, as the prices tend to be pretty reasonable here.
It feels far removed from the bustle and noise of the casino, and it’s all thankfully smoke-free as well. The Tuna Poke and Sage Signature Mushroom Gnocchi have both garnered rave reviews. Believe it or not, this spot is actually one of the best Petoskey restaurants, especially for an elegant experience. Sage is superb for a celebratory night out on the town.
Beacon Bistro is a beloved institution of the area that boasts some of the best dining room views. We especially love to go for the stunning sunset vistas. The outdoor deck seating and window-filled interior look out over the sparkling Michigan waters, perfect for enjoy Michigan in the fall. What could be a more beautiful backdrop for a bite and a beverage?
The menu is small, but each dish is thoughtfully prepared and plated beautifully. The Cacio e Pepe, which is made with squid ink pasta, is super delicious, and every mouthful of the Veal Osso Bucco is worth savoring. Treat yourself to a starter as well, like aptly named the Butter of the Gods, smoked bone marrow, gremolata, and crostini.
Pour Kitchen and Bar
This public house is a perfect pick for a lovely meal out in Petoskey. It’s a super trendy and modern atmosphere, with exposed brick, funky lighting fixtures, and dark leather banquettes. As the name implies there are a variety of taps to enjoy here, made up of mostly local craft beers. The signature cocktails are creative and specially crafted, the Duck Fat Sazerac is a must-try.
The dishes here are Asian-inspired and made with fresh local ingredients based solely on seasonal availability. There are a few sushi rolls available, both classic and inventive, as well as fried rice and fusion fares like the Ahi Poke Nachos. Each entree has a suggested wine paired with it right on the menu, a thoughtful and much appreciated touch.
For Thai food in Petoskey, Thai Orchard is the obvious choice. They use authentic ingredients to create all the classic cuisines, from noodles to curries. It’s all intentionally healthy foods that taste fresh and delicious. The exterior is unassuming, and the inside offers a low-key atmosphere that lets the fantastic fares speak for themselves.
You can choose the spice level and protein of every plate, so the whole menu feels customizable which feels extra enjoyable. As such, vegetarians will find plenty of options to pick from here. It’s usually pretty busy with takeout orders, but the flavors, prices, and portions are well worth any wait. It’s such a popular place in Petoskey, and it’s easy to see why with the very first bite.
This two-story cafe set right on the Little Traverse Bay serves up gourmet Mediterranean eats. The atmosphere is casual yet refined, with an array of lovely local art adorning the walls. The outdoor heated igloos are such a cool experience, and a special way to enjoy the scenery of the area in every season.
The Forest Floor Soup is a magical starter for lunch or dinner, the Baked Feta is a phenomenal small plate, and the Seafood Paella as a main dish blew us away. It’s a quaint country-style spot where everything is Instagrammable. There are signature cocktails, craft beer drafts, and flights of wine which are super fun.
The Back Lot Beer Garden
This hidden gem is probably one of the coolest places to eat in downtown Petoskey. It’s a beautiful industrial-style beer garden, furnished with string lights and picnic tables. It’s open all year round and is a hip hotspot for those in the know.
Brightly colored vendors arrive on four wheels ready to feed the hungry masses of the city. There’s a bar on-site selling a wide selection of craft beers and curated wines, and anywhere from five to ten local eateries around as well. Happy’s Taco Truck, Phoxy’s Phillies and Grindage, Full Moon Pizza are a few of the favorite usual suspects.
This little downtown gem is loved by everyone. Julienne Tomatoes has way more to offer than some finely diced fruits. It’s a quaint eatery, full of exposed brick, adorable art, and old-school charm. A lot of the furnishings are vintage.
They are known mainly for their out-of-this-world sandwiches, both for breakfast and lunch. You can even try two different sandwiches by ordering a half of each. The Gotta Try This and the Lamp Lighter are both amazing. Everything is freshly baked and homemade. They also have a strong focus on community support, donating, and partnering with many local nonprofits.
The 1911 Restaurant is set inside of the historic and quaint Terrace Inn in town. It’s a casual fine dining experience with a wonderful menu that’s created seasonally. The interior feels super elegant, complete with white tablecloths and chandeliers, and the tiny outdoor terrace has beautiful verdant views overlooking the park.
There’s a three-course prix fixe menu available that offers a salad, an entree, and a dessert for under $50. Menu items can also be ordered a la carte if you wish. The Wagyu Sirloin, Vodka Pasta, and Planked Whitefish are all delectable dishes, so it can be tough to choose just one. There’s often lovely live music as well, which really rounds out the romantic ambiance.
Villa Ristorante Italiano
This upscale bistro boasts an old-world vibe that’s really something special. Dark wooden beams, warm lighting, and stained-glass windows set the stage here, for a charmingly classic atmosphere. The wine list is a thing of beauty. There’s even an entire grappa bar, and it doesn’t really get more Italian than that.
Many say Villa is the pinnacle of authentic Italian in Michigan, and we really must agree. Every ingredient is carefully selected, and each plate is thoughtfully made directly from traditional family recipes. Ordering the Antipasto de Casa really saves you from appetizer FOMO, offering a little bit of everything in all its flavorful glory. There’s a long list of handmade pasta, from Baked Penne Rigate to Ravioli, as well as fish, chicken, and meat meals to choose from.
Where To Stay In Petoskey?
- Inn at Bay Harbor, Autograph Collection — Located four miles outside of Petoskey, Michigan, the resort sits along Lake Michigan. The hotel grounds are lovely, and they have awesome activities like s’mores at sunset. The hotel is grand, and the rooms are very comfortable with views of the water.
- Stafford’s Bay View Inn — This charming inn was built in 1886 and had plenty of character!
- Stafford’s Perry Hotel — The elegant hotel is situated in a grand historic hotel that dates back to 1899. They have 75 well-appointed rooms and grounds are located on a bluff that provides excellent views of the lake.
READ MORE MICHIGAN TRAVEL TIPS
I hope you enjoyed this guide on the best Petoskey restaurants! Hopefully you found it useful. Here are a few relevant articles for more travel around Michigan.